A North Carolina sheriff's office has dropped its idea to file charges of inciting a riot against Donald Trump over an incident where a protester was punched by a Trump supporter at a recent rally, saying the evidence doesn't "meet the requisites of the law."
"With respect to the potential of lodging charges of inciting a riot against Donald J. Trump, or the Trump Committee, we have reviewed the evidence accumulated, and consulted with the detectives involved," Sgt. Sean Swain, spokesman for the Cumberland County sheriff, said late Monday. "The Sheriff's Office legal counsel advised, and the Sheriff concurred, that the evidence does not meet the requisites of the law as established under the relevant North Carolina statute and case law to support a conviction of the crime of inciting a riot.
"Accordingly, we will not be seeking a warrant or indictment against Mr. Trump or his campaign for these offenses. "
He added, "While other aspects of our investigation are continuing, the investigation with regard to Mr. Trump and his campaign has been concluded, and no charges are anticipated."
The investigation stemmed from a March 9 rally in Fayetteville, where 78-year-old John Franklin McGraw punched protester Rakeem Jones as he was being led by security out of the event. McCraw later told "Inside Edition," "Next time we see him, we might have to kill him!"
Linden has been charged with misdemeanor assault, communicating threats, and disorderly conduct.
Earlier Monday, Ronnie Mitchell, the attorney for the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office, said investigators were looking into whether to charge Trump.
"We are looking at the totality of these circumstances, including any additional charges against Mr. McGraw, including the potential of whether there was conduct on the part of Mr. Trump or the Trump campaign which rose to the level of inciting a riot," Mitchell told The Fayetteville Observer.
Trump has denied any responsibility for actions that take place at his rallies, laying the blame instead on Democrats Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and the media.
Trump insists his rallies are not inciting hate, but are rather "love fests."
Reuters contributed to this report.
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